Instagram hits the Interweb

Yes, I know, Instagram has been been on the web for a while now (just a few weeks, but in the Social Media world that’s old news). But a recent Mashable article got me thinking. Soon enough, Instagram will have badges that users can opt to post to their websites. That’s exciting news, but I can’t help but wonder..how did this all happen so fast? Through 3rd party websites like Webstagram and Statigram, we’ve been able to log onto our accounts from the Internet since as early as last spring. We were able to see our RSS feeds and like others’ photos…but now that Instagram has decided to establish a web presence personally, the once trendy iPhone app has fully hit the mainstream. Those 3rd party sites will soon be obsolete.

I remember the early days of Instagram. I downloaded it when it was still new to iTunes, thinking it’d be yet another picture-editing app that could perhaps help create more contrast or turn my pictures into sepia tone before I uploaded them to Facebook. Sure, it did all that. And more. I forgot about Instagram for almost a year, and when I went back on this past summer, I was surprised to find I had over 100 followers. Never did I think that people would begin to use this platform as its own entity. Some people post images on Instagram that don’t surface to Facebook now because they aim to please a different audience.

Now that Instagram has hit the Internet, all my pictures have gone public for the entire world to see. Sure, I can change my setting to private (don’t worry, there’s nothing to hide!) but that’s besides the point. “Public” in the sphere of the mobile world–the iPhone only world–versus “public” to anyone with access to the Internet yields some different audiences.

I can definitely understand why the company made the move to the Internet, but I can’t help but wonder what it’ll do to the business. For now, it’s not so different than when the 3rd party apps started giving us access to our images online. But, that’s not to say that someday things won’t change again. Will we soon be able to edit our pics from the web as well? At that point, it might as well become the next Picnik or Photoshop for Dummies. I still love Instagram, but I’m curious to see what you guys think on this one.

Summer 2012 Social Media Strategy

Today marked my last day interning at Laffey Fine Homes. I head back up to Cornell in 6 days! Time flies. But I already had my nostalgic post, so this time I’m here to share a project I worked on at Laffey.

It was an idea that my boss came up with–something both beneficial for both the company and myself. Not only does it help with building my portfolio, but it will also help my boss explain the value of Social Media to managers and high execs at Laffey, in addition to serving as a guide for future interns. While a lot of what I strategized may seem to be common sense to a social media connoisseur, some tips and tricks excited a lot of the company’s executive office. They held a meeting today to discuss it! If you’d like to see it for yourself, I uploaded it here: Laffey Fine Homes Social Media Strategy. I’d love some feedback!

Instagram #3: The Power of Hashtags

Was actually going to post a similar blog about this myself, but stumbled upon yours. It’s so true. In the first 8 hours of creating an Instagram for Laffey Fine Homes we received over 160 likes! I posted 1 picture without any hashtags to see the difference and only 1 person liked it. #HashtagOn!

Empire Avenue Tips

Tagging my Instagram photos has doubled my likes & increased followers. Here are 10 tips for using hashtags on IG. Discuss & share your tips!

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Pinterest: beyond the pretty pictures

The fastest growing social media site on the web today has proven itself as a dual procrastination-favorite-browsing site and a marketer’s heaven. At first glance, Pinterest seems like a site full of gorgeous beach pictures, precious little puppies and the occasional Pottery Barn-esque room decor.

But in all actuality, Pinterest is a billion dollar company that’s blowing up the the internet faster than much of its competition. Youtube, Reddit and Google + yield lower percentages of referral traffic and Twitter holds just .01% over Pinterest, proving this young site’s potential.

More than just those cute puppies (they ARE really cute though..) Pinterest is great for retailers looking for product exposure.  Its addictive nature leads users to discovering DIY tips, “Dream Homes” that are actually on the market with local realtors, and great recipes for all kinds of foods.

Even the 2012 Presidential Election isn’t untouched by Pinterest. Leading candidates Mitt Romney and Barack Obama’s wives have gotten in on the action, both creating pages earlier this year.

The site’s traffic is primarily driven by women by a long run, though this statistic shouldn’t deter marketers. Rather, I see it as the perfect opportunity for specific targeting. If we know the ladies are watching, products should be geared to the feminine mind. Rather than Armani posting its latest men’s suit to their typical male client, the product should be catered to a shopping wife or girlfriend..perhaps looking for a birthday gift for her significant other. Knowing how to take advantage of Pinterest’s statistics helps leverage a company’s influence on the site tremendously.

I am on Pinterest 24/7 for Laffey Fine Homes, the Long Island luxury real estate company I work for. I can attest to the “Dream Homes” being real listings aspect of the site, as it’s a truly great way to drive viewers–and potential buyers–to Laffey.com. I post pictures of the pools and kitchens, the spiral staircases and luscious green backyards, all with a click-through link back to the listing’s page. Granted, many of our viewers hail from all over the country..so it would be a cool addition if Pinterest marketers could target specific geographic regions, much like Facebook Fan Pages can.

Another Pinterest tip I learned from a webinar I stumbled upon thanks to a LinkedIn group I joined may come as a no-brainer; write captions.

It’s true…time and time again we’re told to take advantage of the 500 character limit when creating pins. Pinterest makes it mandatory to insert a comment along with every pin, but most people cheat the system and write a measly period as a placeholder. If you just take an extra 15 seconds to your posts you’ll wind up using the site to it’s full potential. Like Twitter, Pinterest lets you include popular hashtags which help pinners who aren’t following your boards to discover your content.

Mark Zuckerberg..you should’ve bought this one! Instagram is cool, but certainly doesn’t have the marketing capabilities that Pinterest does.

Anyway, I originally intended for this post to be terse (an impossibility for my loquacious mind). I do wish to include a helpful info graphic that I stumbled upon once. Ironically enough, I think I found it on Pinterest. If you’d like a larger copy I’ll be glad to email one: omp7@cornell.edu.

Enjoy!

-Olivia